Calling it a misuse of the process, Pelham town council last week turned down a complaint under the town’s code of conduct.
Craig Larmour, a former Pelham planning director, filed it over the town’s deal with the Allen Group, also known as Fonthill Gardens Inc., in the sale of town-owned in East Fonthill near Regional Road 20 and Rice Road.
Larmour said “council failed to ensure accountability and transparency in the sale of East Fonthill lands.”
He asked the town to follow a process that would bypass a resolution committee and proceed to the appointment of an integrity commissioner to review the complaint.
The town’s lawyer Callum Shedden, in answer to a question during the town council meeting, said he had a number of concerns about the complaint.
It attacks a decision made by council, not the conduct of a member or members of council, he said. That was the intent of the code of conduct.
The town has a bylaw to set out the sale of lands, “in my opinion council followed its bylaw,” said Shedden.
Pelham is selling land to the Allen Group for commercial and residential developments including a medical centre and retirement complex. The group worked with the town to develop a master plan for the area before the sale was announced.
“I respect Mr Shedden and understand his rationale,” Lamour said in reaction to council’s decision,” however, I think council has missed my point.”
“I was intending to draw their attention to the fact that this process has not been transparent,” he said.
Larmour, who filed his complaint the week before the council meeting, said he was disappointed he was not notified the matter would be considered by council at the Monday meeting.
He said he will consider taking council up on its suggestion to challenge the bylaw in court.